Physics and Biology: Evolution of Life and Evolution of Science

Coordinators: Boris Shraiman

Science and scientists evolve like the rest of the living matter. The “Genomic Revolution” and other recent technological advances in Biology have opened a floodgate of data, changing the nature of biological research. The emerging fields of Systems Biology and Bioinformatics require new quantitative approaches that straddle the traditional divide between Life Science and Physical and Mathematical Sciences. Progress demands a new, interdisciplinary “breed” of young scientists that could advance the frontier of research. Our science education has yet to catch up with these developments.

The goal of this Teachers Conference, which will take place in conjunction with the KITP interdisciplinary workshop on “Microbial and Viral Evolution”, is to provide high school physics and biology teachers with an update on the exciting developments at the frontier of interdisciplinary research. The conference will focus on the emerging quantitative “Physical Biology” and illustrate how physics concepts and ideas spring up in the fields like viral evolution, which may seem far removed from the traditional Physics discourse.